Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. As it’s now December, I will be examining the LAST pages of random comics, so watch out for SPOILERS! Today’s page is from Local #4, which was published by Oni Press and is cover dated November 2005. Enjoy!
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Another month, another bunch of trade paperbacks. Plus: real books? What craziness is this????
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It’s CSI, medieval-style!
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Local should have been a book that really spoke to me, personally. Like Megan, the central character we follow in Local, I spent my late teens and early twenties traveling around a fair amount, trying to find that place that would feel like “home” to me. I had the same kind of jobs that Megan had, bar tending, retail work, secretarial stuff – job that you could find and leave relatively easily. If a relationship didn’t work out, it was easier to move country than deal with the fallout of becoming friends and working things out. Like Megan, it took me a while to realize that staying in one place didn’t have to make me feel trapped, and in fact it could be deeply empowering to have a stable home base.
With all of that in mind, I expected to love Local immediately. Maybe that’s why I didn’t… at first.
This book has absolutely everything I like.
It’s got great well fleshed out characters, strong (but complex and not always perfect) female leads. It’s got fantastic art that really places characters in a believable setting (in this case the always fabulous New York City). It’s got attention to to everything from the characters favorite songs to their clothing choices (which are phenomenal and fitting for their personalities) and it’s just funny and smart and totally fun.
I suppose I could just end the review there, but let’s not…
So The New York Five is a sequel of sorts to Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s The New York Four which was released as a 150 page digest via DC’s Minx imprint in 2008. And if you want to know more about how all of that happened – and read a great interview with two of the best comics creators today – head over to yesterday’s She Has No Head! for more. You’ll probably enjoy The New York Five even more if you have already read The New York Four, but it’s not a requirement. Wood brings readers up to speed nicely with a clever opening that quickly outlines what has happened so far and who our major players are. If you read the opening and pay attention you can pick up this Vertigo mini-series easily without having read the previous book and still get massive enjoyment from it – that said – if you like this, you should seek out The New York Four anyway, as you’re likely to enjoy it as well.
The New York Five, a four-issue mini-series from Vertigo that picks up where Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s The New York Four from DC’s Minx volume left off nearly two and half years ago finally releases this Wednesday, January 26th. As someone that was a big fan of the digest-sized original, and someone that searches high and low for quality comics that are also female friendly, I was excited to get a sneak peek of The New York Five #1 (check for that advance review in a special second installment of She Has No Head! tomorrow). Even better though, was getting a chance to talk with Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly about their return to these great characters.
Kelly: So as I understand it, the original plan was to do four books – each one featuring a different character (Riley, Merissa, Lona, and Ren) – I think the most obvious question is can we actually expect to get more of this mini-series, or should I just count myself lucky that I got this one?
Brian: Well, I think Ryan and I feel like the lucky ones! Seriously, a book like this coming from a place like Vertigo is not going to be a chart-topper, but Ryan and I do know how to make pretty good comics together, and I feel this is a pretty positive show of support on DC’s part to let this happen. When Minx ended, we already had contracts signed to do a sequel book, and over these last couple years everyone involved has helped figure out what to do about that – in terms of length, format, imprint, etc. What THE NEW YORK FIVE is, is something kind of unique for DC: a creator-owned, black and white, no ads, 32-pages of story comic for $2.99.
I honestly can’t say if we’ll get the chance to do more after this. I approached this new FIVE series with the assumption that we won’t, so we don’t run the risk of leaving readers hanging like we did at the end of THE NEW YORK FOUR.
Ryan: Yes, lucky is the right word. The New York Five is a unique and strange object–A 32-page, black and white, serial drama about living in New York, published by DC Comics for $2.99. I’m honored to have the opportunity to do this book, and I’ve tried to repay the favor by making the best art I can.